Wow, lots of replies already! Let me try to answer some of the above-noted questions.
I think when someone is successful with a program, they may be of the mindset that "this works for me so it should work for all". Not sure if you'll be able to change the thinking of the person who believes AA is the only way, but making the person aware that others have benefited equally via other programs is at least a start. I've had the pleasure to work for SMART Recovery for 17 years. I've witnessed many changed lives. I obviously think it's a terrific program. But it may not be the best fit for everyone out there.
Here are some links to the other groups I mentioned:
Women for Sobriety: www.womenforsobriety.org
SMART Recovery: www.smartrecovery.org
In encourage you to visit each site, as I'm not expert in each of their programs, but I do interact with the Exec. Directors of those organizations to try to collaborate and help the world to become aware of alternatives.
How does SMART Recovery differ, i.e., what's our selling point? SMART Recovery offers a 4-Point Program:
1 Motivation to Change
2. Coping with Urges
3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings & Behavior (problem solving)
4. Balancing Momentary and Enduring Satisfactions (lifestyle balance)
For each of the points we have a variety of tools. (I'll get more into the program in later posts.)
Thanks for the info regarding the readership here -- that's very helpful. Some of you have recovered without a program, at least one recovered via AA or other programs, etc. And, some of you may be seeking help on behalf of a loved one. SMART Recovery has a message board forum for Concerned Significant Others, and we offer an online Family & Friends meeting every Monday night at 9 PM Eastern. Our program for loved ones shares the SMART Recovery tools, as well as information about CRAFT, as well as using the book Get Your Loved One Sober, Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening. Here's a link to our webpage with a bit more info about our Family & Friends outreach: http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/family.htm
Regarding a definition of an addict, I'm not a treatment professional, but I'm sure that there's a "standard definition" out there somewhere. We don't use the term addict or alcoholic, but focus on changing an individual's behavior. So, we anticipate when someone seeks out the SMART Recovery program, that they are aware of the fact that their addictive behavior is creating an issue for them, and we have tools to help them alter their behaviors to attain lifestyle balance.
Is alcoholism a disease? Ah, that one could be argued for decades! :) SMART Recovery takes the following position: "SMART Recovery tools can help you regardless of whether or not you believe addiction is a disease." We have found that approximately 1/2 of our participants believe it's a disease, the other 1/2 don't, but all need to alter their behavior regardless of their belief regarding disease.
I'm not sure if it would be better to try to reply to individual questions, or to respond to all as I tried to do here? (And if I missed something, holler!)